Last week I attended the annual conference of the North American Simulation and Gaming Association. I have served on the NASAGA Board for the past six years. During that time I have served as the Chair twice and our company also has pro¬duced the annual conference.
Never have I learned as much about myself at one of these conferences as I did last week. One of the things that became so clear to me last week—by the people, surroundings, and events of the conference—was the power of passion at work.
I observed the passion with which many of the presenters and session leaders worked. It showed in their faces and work and, maybe more importantly, in the results they achieved in helping others learn more about their area of expertise. I observed the passion of the collective community of participants to seemingly never tire through a long conference program each day—with smiles and new friends and new ideas for their work.
The conference was held near one of my clients, so I spent part of one day working with the client team. I arrived on the client site ready to work, but dressed differently than usual. I was wearing a tie—a sight increasingly out-of-place in this strictly business casual organization. They asked why I was “over-dressed. "
The comments about my wardrobe led to a brief conversation as I was leaving. I shared a bit about the conference with two of my clients. They could see the excitement in my voice and body language—it was clear to them that I was enjoying this confer¬ence a great deal. As I walked out the door, one of them said, “Kevin, you are having too much fun. "
I paused just outside the door then turned around and said. “That is the way work is supposed to be. When you love the work you do, it is fun. "
My comment made an impact, but I didn’t think too much more about it. The following day at the conference banquet, I was given a surprise honor for my service to the organization, and I told this quick story as I said thank you. What I didn’t do was finish the story for those at the banquet that night. Maybe they got it; maybe they didn’t. Maybe I didn’t even get it at the time.
The rest of the story is that having fun in your work comes from passion. When you find that passion, you are duty bound to share it. My work for NASAGA never took all of my time, and there were certainly weeks when I never did more than 30 minutes of work for the organization. But what drew me to be involved was a passion for my work that is represented well in this organization and at its conferences.
Having been drawn in, by all accounts, I did a good job of helping the organization move forward. (At least many people said lots of nice things to me during the conference. ) When people did say nice things or thank me, I typically responded with “Thanks, but I was just doing my job. "
Just doing your job is one thing. Just doing a job you are passionate about is quite another, and that is what I learned, or re-learned or became clearer about, last week. When you find work that you are passionate about, miracles can occur.
I am now working on how I can live more closely in align¬ment with those things I am most passionate about. Last week gave me ample proof of the power, energy and results that can be created by that alignment.
So where are you? What is your passion? Are you finding ways to express it and share it with others? If not, why not?
When was the last time you felt true joy and passion in your work? If you can’t answer that question quickly, I urge you to think about how you can find that experience again (or for the first time).
Answering those questions may not be an urgent matter, but they are the most important questions you could pose to yourself today. Don’t delay – ask yourself these questions sooner than later. Take the actions that your answers suggest.
Find ways to express your life passions in your life and in your work. You will benefit, and so will those around you.
Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. To receive your free special report on Unleashing Your Potential go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/index.asp or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888. LEARNER.